Consumers, Customers & Clients…

Mitch Schneider
May 20, 2020

The very nature of commerce demands that we are all consumers at one time or another. Regardless of who you are and what you do, you will eventually find yourself purchasing something from someone.

Acting as a consumer doesn’t make you a customer, however. And, being a customer certainly will not qualify you as a loyal and lifetime client! These are critical distinctions. Both for you as the purchaser of goods and services and for the organization(s) you choose to patronize. The problem is most of us never realize these subtle distinctions. Not as consumers, customers, and clients. And, certainly not as business owners and that’s almost understandable.

Most business owners are happy just to have someone cross their threshold. Happy just for the opportunity. I know. Once upon a time, thankfully a very long time ago, I was one of them. But, ultimately, I realized every relationship with a consumer is not equal. That if you treat everyone equally you are actually doing them a disservice because each relationship is inherently different.

Loyal & Lifetime Customers = Clients

Consumers generally have no home unless or until they decide to support a specific business. They are likely to float from one establishment to another for little or no reason. They are not the same as customers who have made the choice to support a particular business. Individuals who are satisfied with the business as well as with the goods and services provided. However, customers exist on a continuum that moves from barely loyal to loyal and lifetime. Loyal and lifetime customers have gone beyond satisfied. They have moved from customer to client.

You need to know and understand where you are whether as a consumer, customer, or client because it changes the power dynamic in your relationship with the business. The business owner should understand this as a function of value. It’s something everyone should be aware of!

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